100 Chapter Books Read-Along: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Three of the Harry Potter books made it onto the 100 Best Chapter Books list. The first book is number 3 on the list, and this one, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was number 12. (Goblet of Fire was number 98.)
I guess it’s obvious from the title of this book which plot this has — it’s the one with Sirius Black escaping from Azkaban and, presumably, heading to Hogwarts. This happened to be where Z and I were with this series so we read it together at bedtime over the past few weeks. The first thing I noticed about this book was that this is where they start getting longer. There were times when the story could have been a bit tighter, as evidenced by the loss of Z’s attention. But it was also the first story where Z wanted to look ahead to learn things that he couldn’t wait to find out. It was important for him to find out what the white orb meant to Lupin and what was going to happen to Buckbeak and how Hermione was going to all of those classes and what animal James Potter was as an animagus.
I have a hard time comparing books within this series. I know a lot of readers have their favorite but I really can’t separate them like that. It’s interesting that only three of the books made this list. Is this the second best in the series? Some think it’s the best. Reading it aloud, I know that there were some small problems with the writing but the adventure was irresistible. I think that kids are going to love these books for generations to come.
I got the chance to talk to Kazu Kibuishi, the illustrator of the new covers that Scholastic is releasing, last week and hear a presentation he gave at Z’s school and he was really awesome. He hopes his new covers will bring more young readers to the books, books that he loved reading too. I’m sure they will if they’re all as gorgeous as this first one!
Verdict: Buy (the box set)
I loved this experience and I’m so excited about the next book in my project, Ozma of Oz. It’s been a favorite since I was a very little kid. I read The Marvelous Land of Oz, second in the Oz series, a couple of weeks ago in preparation and I’m ready to stay in Oz a while longer.
Schedule – March through July
note: dates are not necessarily set in stone – posts may go up a day or two before or after
March 31 – #83 Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1907) — 3rd in a series
April 15 – #33 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (1971)
April 30 – #9 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1978)
May 15 – #17 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (1964)
May 31 – #38 Frindle by Andrew Clements (1996)
June 15 – #58 Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome (1930) — 1st in a series
June 30 – #100 Love that Dog by Sharon Creech (2001)
July 15 – #42 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright (1957)